Albion Women put in a five-star performance to ease past Leafield Athletic and book their place in Round Two of the Birmingham FA Women’s Challenge Cup at the Academy Ground on Sunday.
Head Coach Siobhan Hodgetts-Still made seven changes to the side which was beaten by Stourbridge earlier in the week, as Anna Miller, Lizzie Bennett-Steele, Lucy Newell, Ellie McFarlane, Kate Evans, Simran Jhamat and Meesha Dudley-Jones all came into the XI.
Albion took an early lead when Jhamat fired home from inside the area after a lovely, lofted pass by Olivia Rabjohn sent her through only three minutes in.
Meesha Dudley-Jones then quickly doubled the lead, her long-range effort skipping over the slick artificial surface and finding the bottom corner.
The momentum was firmly with the Baggies’ and Leafield’s goal came under constant pressure - Hayley Crackle, Rabjohn, Dudley-Jones and Delphi Cole all taking aim but not yet extending the advantage.
Eventually, the repeated pressure took its toll and Cole opened her account for the season on the stroke of half time – the striker converting tidily as Rabjohn also doubled her assist tally.
Izzy Green and Jannelle Straker replaced the impressive Newell and Rabjohn at the break, and those substitutes helped refresh Albion’s efforts.
Hodgetts-Still made further changes to her forward line halfway through the second period, bringing on Mariam Mahmood and Steph Weston for goalscorers Cole and Dudley-Jones.
Both strikers would prove pivotal in helping the Baggies complete their rout. Firstly, Weston added her name to the scoresheet eight minutes from the end following a fantastic flowing move.
And, during the last seconds, Mahmood rounded the Leafield goalkeeper and cut the ball back from the by-line towards Jhamat, whose shot deflected off a defender and in to complete a comprehensive victory.
Albion: Miller; Bennett-Steele, Crackle, Newell (Green 45), McFarlane; Jhamat, Loydon, Evans, Rabjohn (Straker 45); Cole (Weston 65), Dudley-Jones (Mahmood 65).
Images courtesy of Crewe-Green Photography.